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Is Rickie Fowler Allergic? Exploring His Recurring Health Condition

Published 03/17/2024, 12:46 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

TPC Sawgrass is hard enough in itself to cause quite a headache. Rickie Fowler, though, has one more, and perhaps a bigger headache, at the Stadium Course. The six-time PGA Tour winner is apparently struggling with a sinus problem at THE PLAYERS Championship as well. 

Notably, the 35-year-old was also battling with a sinus problem at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It’s certainly not uncommon for nasal issues to impact a player’s performance. Even Tiger Woods admitted to struggling on the course due to his allergies. So, is Rickie Fowler, too, suffering from a recurring health problem that has gone under the radar?

Rickie Fowler and his nasal travails

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Fowler was confirmed to be struggling with a sinus infection at Bay Hill. Onlookers, too, pointed out that Fowler was sneezing incessantly during the rounds. The Jupiter resident tied for the 36th spot at Bay Hill. That was not the only time sinus impacted his performance on the greens, however.

At Marco Simone, the 35-year-old was dealing with a sinus infection as well, as Todd Lewis reported during the 2023 Ryder Cup. In fact, Fowler getting benched on Saturday was also linked to his illness, although Zach Johnson refused to get into specific details about players in the press conference. Notably, Fowler failed to bring any points from his two matches at the Ryder Cup.

Now, at THE PLAYERS Championship, reports are coming out that the six-time PGA Tour winner is once again battling with a sinus infection. Reports also point out that Rickie Fowler was not in good shape while walking off the green. The 35-year-old finished 2-over 290 after the fourth round.

Sinus infection is a very common problem, but one without a specific medicinal treatment for a lifetime. A breathing problem is a common fallout as sinuses impact the flow of oxygen to the lungs. Consequently, it prevents Rickie Fowler from playing at his peak. However, the six-time PGA Tour winner has one way to resolve this: follow Jason Day’s path. 

Jason Day went through surgery to end his sinus woes

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A decade earlier, Jason Day was struggling at Whistling Straits at the 2010 PGA Championship. The reason? Sinus infection. The Australian golfer had been grappling with the problem since January of that year. By May, at the AT&T Byron Nelson, the 13-time PGA Tour winner was almost on the verge of pulling out. “I was close to probably pulling out. I felt like getting in the car and driving back home, but I thought about it again and decided to come play, and it was probably a good idea.

Day mulled over surgery during that time but waited a while before going down that road. But eventually, the Aussie underwent surgery to remove the bone from the left side of his sinus cavity in October of that year. This was the day after the surgery. “It’s 1,000 percent better than I was. I never knew any other way, but now I’m getting good air into my lungs and a lot more oxygen. I can work out harder.

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It remains to be seen if Rickie Fowler eventually goes down the same way, but a continuous health problem impacting his game is likely to make him weigh his options.

Read More: ‘Boot the Guy Off the Property’: Fans React as Rickie Fowler Loses His Temper at THE PLAYERS

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Written by:

Parnab Bhattacharya

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Parnab Bhattacharya is a Beat Writer at EssentiallySports in the Golf Division. With four years of writing experience, he is now exploring his deep-rooted love for the gentleman’s sport. Parnab's area of expertise is his predictive and perspective pieces, where he explores all things golf, diving deep into the whys and whats behind players' and Tours' moves in the sport, and unflinchingly voicing his take.
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Edited by:

Riya Singhal

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